About Us

Hub City Writers Project is a literary nonprofit organization located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Comprised of an acclaimed literary book publisher, an independent bookshop, and a literary programmer focused on education and outreach, our mission is cultivating readers and nurturing writers in both the Spartanburg community and throughout the South to foster an inclusive literary arts culture.

Our Story

Founded in 1995 by three Spartanburg writers with a mission to make their city a center for the literary arts, Hub City now employs a staff of eight and occupies a historic building we renovated on the town square. We publish 8-10 titles each year, with a special emphasis on debut writers. Our hallmark is a book that reinterprets, reimagines, or interrogates the modern or historical South.

The first book we published was Hub City Anthology, a place-based collection of personal essays and art about the experience of living local. From there, Hub City began publishing writers across South Carolina and, eventually, the American South. Over the years, Hub City Press has evolved into the most active and ambitious independent literary publisher in the South, selling books nationally and releasing works by authors from Kentucky to Florida to Texas. We remain the only independent press dedicated to publishing only Southern writers.

Along the way, Hub City became a nonprofit organization and a vigorous literary arts programmer, sponsoring an annual writers' conference, summer camps, workshops, scholarships, residencies, and scores of readings each year. We offer a national fellowship program for mid-career writers, a summer writers conference, publishing internships, youth writing camps, and we sponsor an annual book drive that places 5,000 children's books in low-income local homes. When Spartanburg lost its independent bookstore, Hub City stepped in and led a renovation of the ground floor of the historic Masonic Temple as a new hub of books, coffee, and baked goods. Hub City Bookshop became the nation’s first full-service bookshop operated by a non-profit organization. 

Our vision is to achieve an inclusive literary arts culture for Spartanburg and the broader region that elevates Southern voices. With a dynamic team of staff and a hard-working board of directors, Hub City has become one of the most substantial literary arts organizations in the nation and has shown that literary communities are vital in all places large and small. 

Why 'Hub City'?

In May 1995, a trio of writers in Spartanburg, SC, began to talk in a downtown coffee shop about how they could help preserve a sense of place in their rapidly changing Southern city. What their community needed, they said, was a literary identity. Modeling their organization after the Depression-era Federal Writers Project, they chose the name Hub City because it invoked Spartanburg's past as a 19th-century railroad center and challenged them to make their hometown a center for literary arts.



History in Brief

1995: Hub City Writers Project founded
1996: Hub City Anthology released
1999: First year for Writing in Place summer conference
2000: First grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
2002: Received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in South Carolina. 
2006: Launched Writer in Residence program
2009: Press joins John F. Blair Distribution
2010: Hub City Bookshop opens 
2017: Press moves distribution to Publishers Group West
2018: Bookshop named “One of the South’s Best Bookshops” by Southern Living
2019: Bookshop named Independent Bookstore of the Year by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
2020: HCWP celebrated 25 years as a regional literary arts organization
2021: HCWP’s literacy outreach program, Books as Mirrors, launched with a generous donation from Women Giving for Spartanburg
2021: The Watson Brown Southern Studies Fellowship for Arts and Letters, in partnership with the Chapman Cultural Center, is launched
2022: Hub City Press Author Ashley Jones, author of Magic City Gospel and Reparations Now!, is named the youngest and the first African American Poet Laureate for the state of Alabama

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